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On Our Line: The Rail and Transport Podcast

In-depth interviews and analysis of the engineering, politics and history of rail and transport systems across the UK and the world. Presented by Nicole Badstuber and John Bull from London Reconnections, each episode focuses on a single transport topic and features experts drawn from across the industry, academic and political spectrum.
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May 29, 2016

Nicole talks to former Executive Director of the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) and former board chair (and current board member) of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Mort Downey.

In addition to his experience on Metro systems, Mort was also the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation from 1993 to 2001, making him the longest-serving person to ever hold the post. He was appointed by President Obama to serve as part of his transition team in 2008 and led the review team for transportation.

In this episode, Mort talks about the political, logistical and engineering challenges currently facing public transport in the U.S. He also talks about the infamous "death spiral" of under-investment that led to the Washington Metro train collision in 2009, the deadliest accident in the network's history, and the changes this brought about in metro (and wider railway) investment and planning in the U.S.

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